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Small particle could reveal one of physics' greatest mysteries.

Washington, Oct 13 (ANI): A theoretical physicist has proposed that experiments with a small particle called a deuteron could reveal one of the greatest mysteries of physics: the imbalance of matter and antimatter in the universe.

A deuteron is a simple atomic nucleus, or the core of an atom. Its simplicity makes it one of the best objects for experiments in nuclear physics.

Bira van Kolck, of the University of Arizona, and his collaborators described that a property of the deuteron known as a magnetic quadrupole moment could reveal sources of a phenomenon known as time reversal violation.

Most of what physicists know about the universe can be described by what is called the standard model of particle physics.

"This theory explains almost everything we know about the universe up to this point. However, there is one problem that the standard model does not explain," said Van Kolck.

"Like the protons and neutrons - the particles making up the nucleus of an atom - every particle has what's called an antiparticle, things like antiprotons or antineutrons.

"The universe seems to have many more particles than antiparticles. So there is a question of why the universe seems to have such an asymmetry between particles and antiparticles.

"The current indication is that the universe started from a very concentrated state, which some people call the Big Bang, and evolved from that.

"It would be appealing if we could show that the universe started with a balanced number of particles and antiparticles and that the fact that we observe more particles now can be explained in the process of evolution of the universe," he said.

The explanation may lie in a rare violation of the phenomenon of time reversal.

When time reversal is violated, the equation doesn't balance out. It is this imbalance that physicists believe may explain the unequal amounts of matter and antimatter in the universe.

Experiments with the deuteron would probe the same scales of energy as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the European Organization foruclear Research, and could lead to completely new discoveries in physics, Van Kolck said: "It's a different way to look for physics beyond the standard model."

The study has been recently published in Physical Review Letters. (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Oct 13, 2011
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